US-Israel Relationship

At CUFI, we believe a strong, secure, and sovereign Israel is key to a strong and secure United States. Israel needs America, and America needs Israel. We are two nations with shared values, defending the same principles, and thus engaged in the same fight against common enemies. On May 14, 1948, the US was the first country to recognize the nascent State of Israel just eleven minutes after Israel declared its independence. Since then, the US has been a friend to Israel, our most critical ally in the Middle East. One of CUFI’s core concerns is to shape and strengthen the US-Israel relationship to the safety and security of both our nations.

In The News US-Israel Relationship

Hosting CENTCOM chief, Kohavi says Israel and US forming joint abilities versus Iran

Hosting a top US general, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kohav said Wednesday that the two countries were developing “joint” capabilities to counter Iran.

Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, head of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), wrapped up his fourth official visit to Israel since entering the role in April on Wednesday.


US-Israel Relationship

Bipartisan group of 55 US House members support more funds for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense


A bipartisan group of 55 members of the US House of Representatives wrote to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday in support of more American funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which intercepted hundreds of rockets during the country’s conflict with the Hamas militant group.

“As Members of Congress…

US-Israel Relationship

US, Israel to collaborate on countering Iranian drone, missile threat

National security advisors discuss Iranian threat as nuclear talks continue in Vienna

The United States and Israel have agreed to set up an inter-agency working group focused on the increasing regional threat posed by Iranian-produced Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Precision Guided Missiles, the White House said on Tuesday….

US-Israel Relationship

U.S. Secretary of Defense arrives in Israel amid Iran tensions


U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin touched down in Israel on Sunday for his first official visit to the country. The visit comes in the shadow of growing military tensions between Israel and Iran, and amid attempts by Washington to engage Tehran in negotiations over its nuclear program.

At a joint press conference following a…

US-Israel Relationship

Marking 2 Years Since the US Recognized Israeli Sovereignty Over the Golan Heights

CUFI Coffee Break
March 25th marked the two-year anniversary of US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which followed just one week after CUFI released a statement backing associated legislation and after a month-long advocacy campaign. This courageous and historic proclamation has significant implications for…

US-Israel Relationship

US report reaffirms support for Jerusalem as Israel’s capital


The annual United States report on global human rights practices affirmed that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, but reintroduced language that spoke of Israeli occupation of territory, two-states and gave a nod in the direction of Palestinian Authority rights to sections of Jerusalem.

The annual Country Reports on Human Rights…

US-Israel Relationship

Americans’ support for Israel increases – poll


Support for Israel among the American public remains very strong, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

Some 75% of respondents said they viewed Israel favorably, compared to 74% in 2020, 69% in 2019, and 75% in 2018.

Some 30% said they viewed the Palestinian Authority favorably, significantly higher than the 23% in 2020,…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel-US to set up joint team to share intel on Iran’s nuclear program


Israeli and US officials agreed to set up a joint team for sharing intelligence about Iran’s nuclear program during recent strategic talks, according to a report Wednesday.

Last week’s talks were the first held by a bilateral group for cooperating in the effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear arms. The meeting was led by US…

US-Israel Relationship

Israeli president said to be invited to address joint session of US Congress


President Reuven Rivlin is considering whether to accept a bipartisan invitation to address a joint session of US Congress, the Ynet news site reports.

The report notes it is unclear whether Congress can fully convene before Rivlin ends his term as president in July due to coronavirus restrictions.

The president is currently in…

US-Israel Relationship

COVID-19 and the Need for Enhanced U.S.-Israel Technology Cooperation

As its strategy to address the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to develop, the United States should not overlook the important role that its most scientifically advanced international allies could play in helping both to mitigate the pandemic’s devastating consequences and, ultimately, defeat it. Among those partners, few may…

US-Israel Relationship

US, Israel navies hold joint patrols in east Mediterranean

Israeli missile boats join guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey for maneuvers in Mediterranean

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the US Navy conducted joint patrols in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the US military said on Monday.
According to the press release, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey and Israeli…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel and US to convene 1st strategic group meeting on Iran


Israeli and Biden administration officials on Thursday will hold the first session of a bilateral strategic group aimed at collaborating in the effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, an official familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel.

A similar working group convened during former US president Barack…

US-Israel Relationship

Senators Are Calling For A US-Israel Working Group, And It Could Save Lives


Eyeing the growing military technology challenge from great power competitors, four members of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent a letter Feb. 24 to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, urging him to stand up a U.S.-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group, or OTWG. The working group authorized in the annual defense bill is…

US-Israel Relationship

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speaks With President Joe Biden


US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone late on Wednesday, nearly a month after Biden entered office.

Netanyahu was the first leader in the Middle East to get a call from Biden. The “warm and friendly” conversation lasted for nearly an hour, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“The two…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel Authorizes $9 Billion Deal With Washington To Boost Air Force


Decision comes in contrast to the Finance Ministry that opposed the move

Israel’s Security Cabinet approved Sunday the budget to boost the country’s Air Force by procuring warplanes, refueling planes and helicopters from the United States.

The budget, worth nine billion dollars of US aid money, was approved after a deliberation…

US-Israel Relationship

US Senate Okays Keeping Embassy In Jerusalem Permanently, In Vote Of 97 To 3


The US Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to keep the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, with only three senators voting against establishing funding to maintain the diplomatic mission.

In a move welcomed by Israel and bitterly opposed by the Palestinians, the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in…

US-Israel Relationship

Israel, US Launch Joint Air Defense Exercise ‘Juniper Falcon’

“The exercise is designed to improve interoperability between the armies of the two countries”

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the United States European Command (EUCOM) this week launched a joint air defense exercise, dubbed “Juniper Falcon,” focused on the threat from ballistic missile attacks, the two armies announced…

US-Israel Relationship

Israeli Defense Minister Gantz Meets With U.S. CENTCOM Commander McKenzie


Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Commander of the United States Central Command, General Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr. on Friday in Tel Aviv.

This was the first meeting between the two since the announcement that US military overview of Israel would be moved to CENTCOM earlier this month.

Gantz told McKenzie that now, as part…